Here is what Bishop Paul Richardson, Assistant Bishop of Newcastle, wrote in the Sunday Telegraph:
…The church is being hit by a double whammy: on the one hand it confronts the challenge of institutional decline but on the other hand it has to face the rise of cultural and religious pluralism in Britain.
How it responds to the second challenge will be crucial in determining whether it will be able to survive as a viable organisation and make a contribution to national life.
At present church leaders show little signs of understanding the situation. They don’t understand the culture we now live in.
Many bishops prefer to turn their heads, to carry on as if nothing has changed, rather than face the reality that Britain is no longer a Christian nation.
Many of them think that we are still living in the 1950s – a period described by historians as representing a hey day for the established church…
On the other hand Bishop Jonathan Gledhill, diocesan Bishop of Lichfield, just said this:
…the Bishop of Lichfield, the Rt Revd Jonathan Gledhill, accused ‘the metropolitan pundits in the broad sheets who constantly sneer at organized religion’ as being ‘out of touch with the deep spiritual desires of most people in our nation.’ And he said the demise of services such as Matins in favour of services of Holy Communion risked turning some churches into an ‘exclusive sect’…